Ask a Literary Agent

I attended Comic-Con this past weekend, and I had the opportunity to attend a panel hosted by three literary agents, all who work for KT Literary. The entire panel was an opportunity to ask them questions related to the process of querying an agent, what an agent does for their clients and their advice on various elements in the process of becoming published. I thought I would share some of those insights they shared. I have blogged before about my frustration on the amount of inconsistent advice, and it was nice to hear directly from agents about what they are looking for in a query. Role of an Agent The agent’s primary role is to make money for their client (and for themselves and the agency). This is one reason why agents only choose to represent novels and authors they feel have the best chance at being a success. Agents must Read More

Back to the Drawing Board (Again)

I have decided to go back to the drawing board with my novel. It was not an easy decision to come to, but after being told numerous times that the novel was “too short to be marketable,” I’ve decided I had to. That being said, I don’t plan on adding more to the novel that’s already there. I don’t like to read novels with pages and pages of unnecessary description and I don’t plan to include that in my novel either,  just to just “pad” it out. Instead. I have decided to merge my first novel and it’s sequel into a single novel instead. The second novel, originally titled Artifact of the Forgotten, was meant to be a continuation of the story I began in Artifact of the Dawn. By merging the two, I’ll also be changing the title to The Artifacts of Truth. This will not only add the necessary Read More

Why Don’t I Blog More Often?

I know I should blog a lot more often than I do. Part of the problem is, that I only want to blog when I feel I have something to say. So many bloggers churn out post after post, but it starts to get repetitive. Another part of the problem is that I’d rather be working on my novels than blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate blogging, and I used to blog a lot on my personal site. Somehow, I just fell out of the habit and lost my interest over the years. I plan to continue to share my experiences in regards to writing and my attempts to get published. However, I don’t see a need to keep rehashing the same things over and over. At least, I try not to. I could consider doing book reviews as an added feature to my blog, but I’m not Read More

Where Did My Gay Romantic Subplot Come From?

I recently revealed that my novel, Artifact of the Dawn, does include a gay romantic subplot. I thought I’d explain how that came to be. When I originally conceived of the idea for Artifact of the Dawn, it sprang from a question that came to me – what if elves were actually aliens from another planet? Maybe the crashed onto a primitive world and somehow lost their technology over the centuries. From there I developed the world I was going to set the novel in, and then I started developing the characters in my novel. I chose to make my two protagonists, Ardyn and Jevan, male because I am more comfortable writing male characters. That’s not to say I have no female characters in my novel – I made sure to include several, and I wrote them all as strong, independent characters. As I wrote the story, Ardyn and Jevan just Read More

My #PitMad Experience

Yesterday, on March 8, I participated in a Twitter event known as #PitMad, which is short for “Pitch Madness.” The event allows authors with completed manuscripts to pitch them on Twitter for any agency or publisher that may be interested in publishing a new work in a specific genre. I followed the guidelines for #PitMad as closely as possible. An author should only tweet three pitches for a single manuscript, not include any imagery, and space the tweets about four-hours apart during the twelve-hour event. I agonized over the pitches I wrote, and I even rewrote the third one a few times before I finally tweeted it. Each tweeted pitch did receive a lot of impressions, and some interaction from other authors, but nothing from agencies or publishers. This was only my first time participating, so while I kept my hopes up, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get tapped to Read More

An Analogy for My Writing Process

I recently came up with a great analogy for my personal writing process. When I write my first draft, it’s almost like I’m doing a line drawing. I’m building the foundation for my story. I write all the pertinent plot details, dialogue interactions, perhaps a few details here and there. When I’m done, I have a barebones story. Then, when I go back and edit, I start coloring in the line drawing, adding details to help bring the entire story to life. My stories always grow when I go back and edit. I come from a technical writing background, where I learned to avoid any superfluous description (just the facts, ma’am!), which is why my first drafts are as barebones as they are. It also explains why pacing in my first drafts has always been a problem. I speed through many scenes, just giving the barest of detail before moving on. Read More

Working with a Professional Editor

This article is an update to a previous one I wrote last year, where I debated hiring an editor. As my more recent posts alluded, I did finally decide to work with one. Every write I spoke to advised that I should. Some even stated that it was impossible for a writer to self-edit. I still disagree with that sentiment and I believe that it’s important for a writer to be able to edit their own work, at least to a degree. I doubt an editor wants to slog through an unedited manuscript. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when my editor didn’t find any significant issues for me to fix. He felt my world and character-building was good, my pacing well-measured, and there were no inconsistencies or plot-holes. His largest edit was more of a proofreader’s change. I forgot to add spaces around my ellipses whenever I used Read More

Moving Forward

I stepped away from my writing for a short while after I received the news of my editor’s passing. It happened right before the two-year anniversary of my late husband’s passing so I needed to take some time to myself. I’m now ready to move forward. My query letter has been revised extensively, and I plan to begin sending queries to literary agencies. I’m hopeful that with all the changes I’ve made to both my query letter and my manuscript, that I’ll catch some agency’s eye this time around. In the meanwhile, I still have the second novel to finish writing and editing. That being said, I will try to blog more regularly, but I make no guarantees. When I get into writing mode, I often lose track of time.

Goodbye, My Friend

I received sad news today. Alan Seeger, who I viewed as a friend, but was also the editor of my novel, passed away yesterday. The writing community as a whole has lost a member of their community. He was not only and editor, but also an author in his own right. He mostly edited horror anthologies, but he had written and published a number of his own works as well. I had only known Alan for a few short months, but in that time we formed a friendship and working relationship. I was thrilled when he told me that he enjoyed my novel. When I went through all of his edits, the fact that he found very few flaws really encouraged me as well. I can honestly say his input and advice will encourage me to strive even harder to become a published author. Alan will be greatly missed by Read More

Artifact of the Dawn – Novel Progress

I will admit, I am not the best at keeping my blogs regularly updated. I’d much rather write my novels than write blog posts. To that end, I thought I could combine the two today and just give an update on the progress of my first novel, Artifact of the Dawn. That is the first novel in my Artifacts of Truth series. I handed my latest revisions to my beta readers just before November last year, so they could make sure I didn’t introduce any new inconsistencies into the story, along with making sure all of my changes made sense (I made extensive changes to the manuscript at that point). When I completed NaNoWriMo, and most of the second novel in the series (Artifact of the Forgotten – title may change), I took time to review all the feedback from my beta readers. That led me to make some additional Read More